HIS ONLY DAUGHTER
[Everyone at the dining having their lunch except for max who has refused to eat anything prepared by angel]
“why is max not here?” angel asked concerned “ angel…” steve started “I understand.” angel cuts in “He hates me. But this will have to stop” she snapped, bouncing off the dinning; heading for max’s room.
“And why have you refused to come out?” Angel asked, slamming the door behind her. Max who was still lying on the bed pulled the magazine away from his face, looking at angel “are you talking to me?” “are we a crowd in this room? Of course, I’m talking to you!” angel yelled. Max let out a smile like he couldn’t believe his ears. “like seriously? You now have the guts to talk to me?” “and who are you? A god?” angel smiled “ we might not be in good terms and yes you hate me. But can you at least put that aside until lunch is over? My dad wanted me to make sure you are fine and ok and here you are rejecting the food I took my time to prepare?” “what is it with you? What part of I’m not interested don’t you understand? And why are you so worked up? Right; you poisoned my food and you just want me to eat it so you can put me behind bars.” Max accused. “you can say the hell whatever you want max, I don’t care, I’m only doing this to please my father.” “and I’m not interested in your damn meal angel, and I will never be!” “sure! suit yourself. And one more thing, don’t go about saying I didn’t keep my own end of the bargain” she slammed the door bouncing off angrily to the dining. She sat down burying her hand in her hair “is… everything okay? Angel?” Oscar asked concerned “yeah” angel replied as she forced a smile, returning to her food.
Angel was busy reading a newspaper in the living room when Mayor walked in “welcome dad she said collecting his briefcase from him as they headed for his study “how was your trip?” “Good, and you?” “Fine, but a little bit bored” “where is max?” “in his room” angel replied like she’s disgusted at the mention of his name. They slammed the door behind them. Angel reached for a jug of water, pouring some into two glasses. “you said you wanted to discuss something with me dad,” she reminded, walking towards him. “want some?” “thanks” mayor replied collecting the glass of water she offered him. He gulped all with angel grabbing a seat. “yeah, It’s about you and max” he said dropping the cup on the table as he took a deep breath “What about us?” angel asked wanting to know more “there’ll be a change as regards to the leadership of the team, Max will be taking it from here” “why? Did I do something wrong?” angel asked confused. “No, it’s not that. You know too well that no one can beat you when it comes to anything that concerns the business” “then why do you want a change?” angel asked, not taking his decision likely. “because I want to prove to max he doesn’t stand a chance against you” mayor whispered bringing his face forward as he rests his hands on the table “it’s crystal clear dad, there’s nothing to prove” “but he fails to see it” mayor pressed on. “then, that is his problem.” Angel retorted. Mayor was beginning to get upset as angel was making it harder than he expected “angel…” he said, forcing a smile as he reached for her hand. “please, let’s give him a chance. That way he will realize you’re better off.” Angel let out a laugh, taking her hand off his slowly. “is there something you are not telling me, dad? Because I’ve been meaning to ask you this for a long time.” She asked looking him straight in the eyes, suspicious. “like what?” mayor demanded. “Why does he call you dad?” “I told you before, he is my PA and he’s like a son to me. I didn’t force him to call me dad, he chose that himself” “is that it? or is there something more to it?” angel asked, not buying mayor’s lies “I don’t like where this conversation is going angel,” “of course dad, you won’t like it because I’m telling the truth!” she said standing up; fed up. “what truth?” “is he your son? Did you adopt him and named him after max? because it’s no coincidence he bears the same name as my brother.” Angel raised her voice. “ I know how much you love max dad, and I know you’ve always loved him more than me. So I was thinking that just maybe, you are beginning to transfer your affection for max to him.” She said in between tears. “All of this would have been ok if he were truly my brother” she wept trying to leave when mayor interrupted, “And one more thing. You’ll be taking care of max till he gets better, our nurse is out of the country and won’t be able to attend to him.” Angel shook her head like she understands, with tears still rolling down her cheeks, she left angrily, slamming the door behind her.
“Angel,” steve called out as he saw her rush out of mayor’s study crying. Angel rushed to her room sobbing.
“what happened?” Oscar asked steve who was calling out to Angel. “I don’t know,” he whispered shaking his head, wondering what the problem was.
Angel brought out pictures of max; looking each one as she sobbed. “I miss you so much max, if only you were here then things would be different, I love you so much.” She sobbed.
[Angel reluctantly picked her call, sniffing in]
“Hi love,” Eric called out over the phone. “Eric,” she sniffed “have you been crying? What’s the problem?” eric asked, concerned. “nothing” angel replied rubbing the tears off her eyes “you are lying to me, you are not fine.” Eric whispered, worried “Ok, let’s meet up” eric decided upon realizing Angel wasn’t willing to talk over the phone “I don’t think I want to” “please, I miss you already. It’s been a while since we last saw each other.” “ok I will just freshen up” “I’ll send my chauffeur to pick you up” “alright” “bye” “bye” Eric hung up playing with his phone as he wondered what the problem was.
Angel Rushed into the bathroom to have a shower. She dressed up then hurried down the stairs. Max was looking through his window, enjoying the beautiful gift of nature when he saw angel hop into a very expensive car. They drove off.
[SPARE ROOM BAR]
Angel entered the bar with the chauffeur driving off.
“hi” “hi” eric and angel exchanged greetings pecking each other. Angel sat down taking a deep breath as she placed her purse on the table. Eric sat down as well “So, what is it this time, you don’t look fine” “it’s my dad again, just when I thought we are fine, then he comes up with a silly plan” “do you want to talk about it?” eric asked in a low tone looking at her with so much care in his eyes “sometimes I don’t even know what I’m doing, most things I do, I do because of him, I don’t know why it’s so difficult to please him, how I wish you can choose who your families are” she broke down in tears fed up. Eric left his seat to hug her. “it’s ok, sooner or later he will realise that you’ve been nothing but a good daughter to him” “sometimes I even wonder if he’s my father, I just miss my mum so much” she sobbed still in his arms. She rubbed the tears off her eyes freeing herself from his hug “you shouldn’t say that.” Eric advised, now squatting before her. “Whatever problem you two have or whatever thing he said to you, he probably had a reason, just trust him”. he whispered looking her straight in the eyes. “I’m tired. I don’t even know myself anymore. I’ve done so many things all in an attempt to please him. I just wanted him to love me just as much as he loved my brother but it seems all my effort proves futile. No matter what I do, he will always choose the other person over me. Sometimes he pretends everything is fine and that we are okay and sometimes he becomes extremely nice to the point that I feel secured around him, then one thing happens and he changes all of a sudden” “ this will soon pass, trust me. My dad used to act that way towards me too until I accepted to take up the army course. No matter what, he’s still your father and nothing can change that” angel sobbed at the thought of it. “that’s the problem Eric, he’s the only family I’ve got, and I have to endure even until the point of death” she sobbed putting her face away, trying to control her tears “no, don’t say that, please” eric whispered, turning her face back to him. “your dad loves you, you just fail to see it” “I just wish he truly does love me, but it seems the reverse is the case” “just give him some time, maybe he’s going through something. This might probably be the time he needs your support. He’s your father no matter what and I would suggest you go home and apologise to him if ever you wronged him” “I won’t do that, I’ve done nothing wrong, I only said what I felt was right, he better get used to it. I won’t let him use me the way he pleases, even if he’s my father.” Angel stated angrily. Eric touched her face trying to calm her down. “can you smile at least? you are with me now and not with your father,” angel gave a wry smile “ and your necklace?” Eric asked, concerned. “I don’t put that on always, only wear it when I’m having a turtle neck on. I don’t really like exposing it for safety reasons” “you’re right about that.” Eric supported, shaking his head. “Here is some ice cream to cool off your temper a little.“ he said, pushing a plate of ice cream to angel as he returned back to his seat. “I bought them on my way here; I know it’s your favourite,” “oh, thanks, that’s so thoughtful of you,” she said, pleased. “I really needed this right now, thanks a lot,” she said grabbing the plate of ice cream and started consuming it, excited. Eric opened his too and started licking it as well.
“ umm,” eric choked as he starts a conversation, looking at angel as he points a spoon at her. “a friend of mine would be having a birthday party, everybody is asked to come with a date. So… I was just wondering if you would be available” he concluded, returning to his icecream. “do you really have to ask me that? Don’t tell me you were planning on replacing me with someone else.” she questioned jokingly “no, of course not, why would I do that? when I have a beautiful princess like you” “glad you know” she said with all smiles as they stained each other’s nose with ice cream. They had fun together.
Eric drove her home then hurried down the car to open the door for her. She alighted, facing eric with all smiles.“thank you so much, you literally saved my life, I can’t thank you enough.” “that’s what friends are for right?” “yeah.” She said as she shook her head smiling. She hugged him. “I don’t know what I would have done without you, you have been nothing but a blessing to me.” she said still in his arms with max watching through his window.
They freed each other with eric pushing her hair backwards, staring at her with affection. “Take care of yourself ok, do not let them get on your nerves and do not change for anyone; just be you and you will come out strong, trust me.” “thank you” she whispered pecking him then hugged him for the last time. “bye” she waved at him then went inside the compound. “Bye” eric waved then hopped back inside his car, he drove off
Max went and lay back on his bed running his mind through what he saw then there was a knock at the door.
“can I come in?” mayor asked politely. “come on in” Max replied from inside.
“Hello son,” he said walking towards max on the bed “ how are you doing?” he asked with max staring at him not wanting to respond. “son,” he took a deep breath sitting beside max on the bed “I know you are still mad at me because of what happened, and I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that to you” “dad, I’m not in the mood for this, I just got back so let me rest.” “but son…” “dad please.” max interrupted. “I’m not going anywhere until you listen to me” mayor maintained with max swallowing hard, angry. “our business was experiencing some setbacks and I thought having angel as the head of the team would be a good idea and would help save the business.” Mayor explained. “I want you to understand that I wouldn’t jeopardize the growth of the business I worked so hard for…” “and of course you thought having me as a leader would further put your business at risk” “no son,” “then what!” max raised his voice sitting up this time” “ angel was in a better position to save the business at the time and I was hoping you would understand. Son, all I did, I did for our family. it was for our own good. You’ve been able to have a good life thanks to this business” “dad you know too well I never wanted this. I only joined this business because I wanted to protect you and because I wanted to help my mum and sister get the justice they deserve. I have my own career dad but I threw everything away because of you and this is what I get? I’ve always looked up to you for everything and yes I wanted to be like you at some point but I never wanted this as a career. it turned this way because all my life I watched them chase after you. It’s either we are in America today or in London tomorrow; all I wanted was to be able to protect you. I was scared… I was scared of losing you and I was scared they were going to come after me someday too. You always told me to be strong and to always be prepared for war cause we had tons of enemies. you practically changed the way I see things” “and I never lied to you son,” “yes I know, because right before my own eyes my mum and sister were murdered, so you couldn’t have been wrong?” “I’m so sorry,” mayor tried to hug him but max got away from him. “ I really want to make up for lost times, I really do.” mayor said, remorseful. “there is just one question I’ve been meaning to ask you for a very long time dad,” mayor raised his brows expecting max to go ahead. “who is angel to you? Why do you love her so much and why does she even call you dad?” Mayor was shocked, not prepared for such question. He thought for a while trying to come up with some lies. “she’s… the daughter of my business partner” he started in a low tone, feeling remorseful “ her father died a long time ago when she was about 8 years old” he was killed during one of his operations. So he left his daughter in my custody, asking me to take good care of her, I couldn’t turn him down. The mother was no more and I was the only family she had; so I had to take her in” “did mum know about this?” max questioned. “no,” mayor broke down in tears looking down at his hand “ I kept it away from her because I didn’t want her to think otherwise” “mum isn’t a bad person dad, she would have understood. Then where was she all this time and how come she bears the same name as my deceased sister” “people bear similar names max, so it just happened she bears the same name as your sister” he said looking up at max with max shaking his head like he understood. “and she was in China all these years. I had to take her there for proper training. Same training I gave you is what I gave her but the location is what made the difference. And now that she’s back, I had to make her feel at home. I don’t want her to ever feel she wasn’t my daughter” mayor said reaching for max’s hand “well I don’t care,” max said pulling his hand away. I don’t like her and I never will” “she accepted” mayor revealed. “she accepted what?” “ she accepted to step down for you to take over, so you are the leader now.” “Really?” max’s face lit up “thank you so much father,” he said giving his dad a grand hug, forgetting all the conflicts they have.
“This is really cool! I think this will be a good start for our reunion. Thank you once again, father,” max said sipping a glass of water “she will be taking care of you from tomorrow.” Mayor continued with max raising his brows. “who?” “angel” mayor replied. “Our nurse isn’t available at the moment, she’s out of town, so please, I want you to co-operate with her and I don’t want you two fighting each other.” “and she accepted?” max asked finding everything funny. “yes she did” “wow! This is really going to be interesting“ max imagined smiling as he sipped his glass of water again. “and one more thing son, promise me you won’t go about rubbing it in her face that she isn’t my daughter.” “even if I wanted to, just because of this good news, I will keep my mouth shut. So, it’s a promise dad, I won’t say a word to her” “ thanks” mayor said then left the room.
[Steve, Oscar, and Hector in max’s room having a chat with him]
“We saw angel crying a while ago. We don’t know what the problem is” steve divulged to max. “I think I know what the problem is. Tables are beginning to take their rightful turn. I’ve been made back the leader of the team. Maybe In the next meeting, dad will announce it.” Max said smiling with all of them raising their brows, not happy.
“Why the face? aren’t you guys happy for me?” “of course we are, we are just shocked.” Hector defended “he’s my father, don’t tell me you expected angel to beat me on this one? She’s just an intruder” max convinced. “but in the end, it would all be worthless because her efforts will still outshine yours, who is better is better and that, you can’t take away from her; besides I don’t think this leadership of a thing will affect her in any way” steve gave his opinion “then why was she crying” max mocked “I doubt if her crying had anything to do with the leadership stuff. Angel is way more matured.” Oscar concluded, shaking his head; They all stared at each other.
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